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Hepatitis C ‘18+’ Testing is Cost Effective

It makes sense to do a one-time screen for heaptitis C for all adults.

As the rate of infection with Hepatitis C virus soars in the United States, clinicians are seeking new, innovative solutions to resolve this outbreak.

Over just 5 years, the number of new hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections has nearly doubled, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The increase is driven by people who inject drugs (PWID), the CDC says.

But a clear majority of HCV cases are still diagnosed in baby boomers, who are six times more likely to be infected with HCV than people in other age groups.

Baby-Boomers make up about 75% of all HCV cases in the U.S.

Newly published research suggests that expanding one-time Hepatitis C virus testing to everyone over 18 years of age would be cost-effective, and improve clinical outcomes.

This study reported the greatest results were observed in the “18+ Strategy”, with an estimated 256,000 additional infected persons identified.

Additionally, the ‘18+ Strategy’ would deliver the lowest cost per quality-adjusted life year, at $28,000.

The current CDC and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend a one-time HCV test for persons born between 1945-1965, with additional testing for ‘high-risk’ persons.

To estimate the HCV screening cost-effectiveness, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University Medical School used a simulation model called the Hepatitis C Cost-Effectiveness (HEP-CE).

They applied the HEP-CE model to each of four HCV screening options:

  • The standard of care: one-time testing of everyone born between 1945 and 1965;
  • ≥40 strategy: one-time testing of everyone aged 40 years or older;
  • ≥30 strategy: one-time testing of everyone aged 30 years or older; and
  • ≥18 strategy: one-time testing of everyone aged 18 years or older.

These researchers reported that each of the expanded testing strategies would identify more HCV cases, and would cure more patients than the CDC’s current guidelines.

Read on: Hepatitis C ‘18+’ Testing is Cost Effective — Precision Vaccinations

Read on: Hepatitis C ‘18+’ Testing is Cost Effective — Precision Vaccinations 

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